I have always been fascinated by strangeness and oddities, and this interest weaves itself into my art as I depict subjects transformed into curiosities themselves, which are formed out of an assembly of bric-a-brac designed to convey some wider message. This approach grew out of an obsession with mechanizing everything under the sun, be it mushroom still-lifes to ants or polar bears. My preoccupation was with environmental destruction, and the impact of technology and its advance on the planet. Although I endlessly painted robots, this actually mirrored my love of nature and animals, as my art addressed issues ranging from animal testing to species extinction, and the woven integration of the environment and sustainability of biodiversity on this planet.
I was depicting a world populated with artificial surrogates, like prosthetics to fill in widening gaps in the natural food chain, as a cynical solution to a problem too few too low down were willing to acknowledge in time to make a difference. And now that problem has become apparent to the global masses, as scientists argue whether is it in fact too late to save the planet from the damage which has already been inflicted, which does not appear to be abating, and amidst the largest mass extinction since the age of the dinosaurs.
Since this was the default setting in my work, I extended my sphere of interest to humans themselves in order to include, through this language of robotics and mechanism, an exploration of the human condition. The initial preoccupation with technology and its impact on life remains fundamental to my work and is evidenced by the language of robotics and the mechanisms which are used to express any idea. But now, since we are obviously, increasingly, and inextricably linked to technological tools and aids that are virtually and literally extensions of ourselves, I take this principle for granted and concern myself with aspects of the human condition, having turned my interests inward to more philosophical explorations.
Heidi Taillefer lives and works in Montreal, Canada.
Selected Recent Exhibitions: 2009 – An Uncanny Lineup of Serendipitous Connections, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, New York; East Meets West I, Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; World's On Fire, Pacific Electric Lofts, Los Angeles, California; Clownie, Baby, Amputee, Antebellum Gallery, Los Angeles, California. 2008 – Muses and Heroes, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, D.C.; Aspect: Ratio 1, Irvine Contemporary Gallery, Washington, D.C.; SPLATTER, Antebellum Gallery, Hollywood, California; Locked and Loaded, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, New York; Literartistry, Coery Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
Bemoaning the Loss of Limbo
Birth of Venus
2003, oil on canvas, 36"×48"
2002, oil on canvas, 50"×70"
1999, oil on canvas, 44"×60"
The Worm Forgives the Plow